Monday, 6 July 2009

America and infertility

I don't sleep any more. Instead I stay up late and the surf the internet, finding my way into bizarre websites about infertility / donor eggs / surrogacy. Most of these websites are American because the Americans talk about these things. In Europe it's all too embarrassing and nobody says anything. The details on these websites is incredible. You can search data bases of people who might give you an egg and you can put in your exact requirements. I want tall, slim, blonde woman who looks like a supermodel, speaks five languages and has a PHD. OK, feed that into the search and you'll be shown a photograph of a woman who fits that description and is willing to give you one of her eggs ..... Or apparently so. There is also a lot of details about costs - all the possible costs. Including what it will cost you if the surrogate gets pregnant with triplets and you want to abort one or more of the foetuses. Yeah, it gives you a cost for that - per foetus. Which is very precise, at least. Last night I clicked a button labelled financing and it took me into a site selling a number of different things - breast reduction, teeth whitening, getting your bald patch fixed .... and infertility. I showed this to my husband. 'Great,' he said. 'Why don't you get your boobs done, I'll get my teeth whitened and we'll buy a baby .... and then may we'll be eligible for some kind of discount.' Well, clearly, I'm taking the piss. But actually I'm deeply grateful to these websites and to the people in America who I e-mail. They e-mail straight back. They say, 'I'm sorry for your loss,' which people in England don't say. And they say yes and yes and yes. I like that very much. God Bless America. In England for the last four years all they've said is no and no and no - and then they've looked really embarrassed and hurried us out of the room.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Almighty

I went to the Quaker Meeting House today and an elderly man told an interesting story. It goes like this. A vicar in a rural village went to call on an old man. They had a cup of tea and the old man then offered to show the vicar his garden. They went out together into the garden and the vicar was thrilled by the garden as it was stacked with flowers, fruit and vegetables. The vicar expressed his surprise and delight and then turned to old man and said, 'So what do you think that the Almighty has to do with this?' The old man thought for a while and then he said, 'Well, vicar, I really can't say. But I would comment that when this place was left to the Almighty it looked a really terrible mess.' I don't know why but this story appealed to me. It is quite typical of the Quakers who believe in getting on with it yourself, rather than relying on divine intervention.